Big Tech says it is confused by Australia’s growing online safety laws

Large American technology firms want the Australian government to consolidate its various online safety laws into one Act, claiming a “slew of regulations” are creating overlap, inconsistency and confusion. The federal government has introduced several pieces of online safety legislation over the last three years, including the Online Safety Act, an anti-trolling bill, and laws… … Read more

Meta ‘most reluctant’ to work with government: Home Affairs

The Department of Home Affairs has accused Facebook parent Meta of being “the most reluctant” of the big tech firms to work with the federal government on safety measures, claiming Facebook’s parent company has shown a “degree of seeming indifference”. In a submission to the House Select Committee Inquiry into Social Media and Online Safety,… … Read more

Ed Santow leading development of Australian facial recognition model law

Former Australian Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow is leading the development of a “model law” for facial recognition technology in Australia, warning the current absence is allowing the technology to be misused. The new project being conducted by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) will examine other countries’ attempts to regulate facial recognition technologies to… … Read more

NSW govt offers bushfire technology grants

The New South Wales government is offering grants up to $100,000 for local companies to trial their bushfire technology in the field under the first program of an R&D mission announced in last year’s state budget. The first $1.5 million round of the Bushfire Technology Pilots Program is offering the grants to support trials and… … Read more

‘Extreme urgency’: Govt signs $60m in contracts for imported RATs

The federal government has signed contracts worth more than $60 million for the supply of rapid antigen tests this week without a tender process due to “extreme urgency or events unforeseen”. Included in the companies selected by the government following a closed tender is one linked to a medical practice offering the controversial ivermectin to… … Read more

Deloitte gets another $4.5m for myGov work

US consulting giant Deloitte will be paid a further $4.5 million in the first half of this year by the federal government for continued work on the new myGov platform, which is still yet to emerge from beta testing. The federal government has now paid Deloitte more than $45 million since the start of 2020… … Read more

Technology not taxes for emissions reductions, but from where?

Any Australian who has paid the slightest attention to the politics of climate change knows that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s mantra is ‘technology not taxes.’ With technology playing such an important role, it is worth exploring how much the government has invested. This week, the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction announced funding to… … Read more

Q-CTRL lands US grant for automated quantum tech

Sydney quantum pioneer Q-CTRL will significantly expand its presence in America thanks to a US government Small Business Innovation Research grant. Q-CTRL was this week awarded $230,000 in funding through the US Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) for a project looking at “automated calibration, characterisation and optimisation of near-term quantum processors”. The Australian company will… … Read more

‘Extremely difficult’: Govt’s summer submission rush

It will be “extremely difficult” for civil society to properly contribute to a range of current tech-focused government consultations with submission periods running over the summer break. The government is consulting on significant pieces of legislation with submissions open mostly from mid-December to mid-January. There are also several relevant parliamentary inquiries also taking place over… … Read more